Leadership in a changing world
This module provides you with the unique opportunity to learn about leadership in the current world, characterised by precarious times and new opportunities to develop positive leadership. You'll discover what type of leadership is needed in a world of disruptive technological change and turbulent contexts, how to be influential in this era of social networking, and what is your leadership call to develop your career and to improve the world. You'll gain an appreciation of how leadership is increasingly mediated through social networks, and you'll have the possibility to practice leadership within social media by working on a leadership challenge.
What you will study
This module is divided into the following three blocks. Each block will develop a particular key skill: critical thinking; problem-solving; and storytelling.
Block 1: Leadership in turbulent times
You'll focus on the turbulent contexts for contemporary leadership, analysing real-life examples related to the future of work (e.g. short-term contracts, zero-hours contracts, and the rise of the “precariat”) and discuss issues around the future of democratic global governance (e.g. Brexit, populism). You'll reflect on globalisation and multiculturalism, exploring also non-Western views of leadership.
Block 2: Developing leadership opportunities
In this block, you'll focus on the opportunities to develop positive leadership in a changing world, and on your leadership identity by examining the challenges of leading across boundaries and of bringing people together. You'll learn how collaboration, or in some cases, conflict and constructive dissent, can support positive leadership.
Block 3: Dealing with a collective leadership challenge
You'll focus on what you need to do to feed a practice of leadership. You'll look at practices of resistance, radical and place-based leadership for social change. You'll reflect on how responses to leadership challenges might be co-created and have the opportunity to work in a group focusing on the societal challenge you choose to work on.
You will learn
By the end of the module, you'll be able to:
- develop your critical thinking, problem-solving and storytelling skills
- explain leadership related concepts to different audiences (academic, professional, the general public) and using a wide range of media
- reflect on your own leadership potential and capabilities.
This module is an OU level 3 module, so some concepts will require previous experience of studying at an undergraduate level.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
You might start looking at case examples of successful leadership against complex societal challenges.
You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:
- a week-by-week study planner
- course-specific module materials
- audio, video and multimedia content
- assessment guide
- online tutorials and forums
- library resources, including ejournal articles and referencing guides.
You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Monterey or higher.
Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.
To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).
Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.
Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.
It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.